How to do Case Study Research

how to use case study research and case study research advantages and disadvantages | download free pdf
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Dr.ShaneMatts,United States,Teacher
Published Date:23-07-2017
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 Qualitative research denies positivist claim that there is one objective truth to be uncovered through process of research (Cohen et al)  Meaning is found through engaging with realities in our world (Crotty)  Case studies used in large number of social science research theses/dissertations (Yin) Because you want to investigate a certain phenomena (learning situation, technology for learning) with a certain group of people/person  The case = the people/person  Allows for exploration  Takes a holistic view of a situation  Accessibility/convenience (situations where sampling can be difficult)  Flexible  Watch out.....data can be huge/unwieldy...... Case study is among 5 approaches to qualitative enquiry (Creswell)  Seminal researchers: YIN, STAKE Cohen et al also present case study  Yin more structured approach to research than Stake  Stake interpretative, brings his own outlook Slightly different approaches among Yin/Stake to structuring of case, but all have similarities , find which model fits your research  Case is within bounded environment  Multiple forms data collection  Validity checking  Single organisation - school: what is happening with a particular tool/strategy  A particular community - rural village ongoing issue/dispute  On a particular group ......... Issue to a group  An individual - career criminal - examination designed to understand motivations of a career criminal  A decision – merging to 2 schools, why was decision taken, how was it implemented , what was outcome  An event – an election campaign (Henn et al) “A case study is an empirical study that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and with its real-life context” (Yin, 2009, p18)  Case is a bounded system, i.e. learning situation/group = case (Stake)  Cases are units of investigation ..individuals..communities..groups (Henn et al)  (A case can be a group of students, a group of teachers, 1 teacher, 1 student) Develop holistic and meaningful characteristics of real life event  Investigate:  Small group behaviour  Managerial cycles  Neighbourhood change  School performance (Yin 2009)Stake does not see the case study as a method, but suggests that mixed methods inform the case  Case is not the method, It is the object of study (Stake, 1995)  (ie the group or the individual) Read case study examples  What is the case?  What is the research question?  Single or multiple case?  How was data collected? ........................................... No minimum size for case study  (can be 1 person to lots of people)  Sometimes research is small  Much of action research is case study (Henn et al: research can be small) Case study is not sampling, can’t understand other cases from it  Often only weak generalisations made (however sometimes generalisations inevitable)  Lack of rigour can be problematic  Sometimes too long, massive unreadable documents  Qualitative - emphasis on interpretation  All researchers are influenced by their experience (Stake)  For assertions we draw on understandings deep within us  Good case study is reflective , patient, willing to see other views...triangulation  Research comes from looking for a problem  Identify a case study  Identify an issue in the case study  How can we better understand the case – this needs to overarching approach for the case  What is your suggested case? (sometimes it is easier to define what your case is not)  Case – Issue –Data – Analysis – Assertion  This could lead to thinking that data could solve an issue, not really  Assertion really initiates further work Rigorous methodological approach  Thorough literature review  Posing research questions  Explicit procedures of doing research  Acknowledge strengths/ limitations of case study research (Yin) 6 common sources evidence  Documents, archival records, interviews, direct observation, participant observation, physical artefacts ...photos, video...  Need to master different data collection procedures (Yin) Main methods  Observation  Interview  Document review  Survey  Focus groups (Stake not a fan Prefers interviews)

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